News Release

Pile Burning and Prescribed Fire at Crater Lake National Park

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Date: April 4, 2022
Contact: Ed Waldron, (541)594-3062
Contact: Marsha McCabe

CRATER LAKE, OREGON – Prescribed fire season has arrived at Crater Lake National Park and the park will be applying prescribed fire to the landscape in preparation for the upcoming fire season. Hand thinning of small trees and brush and pile burning this material with prescribed fire is commonly used by fire managers to not only improve forest health and wildlife habitat, but also provide defensive space around structures and escape routes in the event of a wildland fire. These techniques are a part of the National Park Service’s continued commitment to protecting park visitors and employees, as well as the park’s valued natural and cultural resources from wildland fire.

Warmer temperatures, reduced snowpack, adequate humidity, and favorable winds are improving the conditions needed for firefighters to start applying fire to strategically planned areas. Nearby residents and visitors may notice smoke or fire at Crater Lake National Park in various areas during the next few months. Each prescribed fire can appear different visually depending on the forest type, fuel load, prescribed fire objectives, and how long fire has been absent from the area. The locations where prescribed fire operations will be taking place will be  well signed and may have increased fire personnel, traffic, and smoke in the area. Please drive slowly in these areas for public and firefighter safety.

Prescribed fire occurs on days when the Oregon Department of Forestry Smoke Management Office indicate there are suitable weather conditions for smoke dispersal. Following that approval, if overall fuel and weather conditions are favorable, firefighters ignite a test fire before moving forward with the prescribed fire. If the test fire indicates conditions are not suitable, the prescribed fire will be postponed until conditions improve. All burning operations are monitored and patrolled frequently by fire professionals, to ensure public safety.The park will be burning piles of small diameter trees and brush that have been cut to ensure safe and effective access and egress into the park, and to provide for defensive space around historic structures and critical infrastructure in the event of a wildland fire. You can anticipate fire crews and smoke within the following areas in the near future:

  • Highway 62 - south of the park’s entrance station to the park’s southern boundary.

  • Mazama Campground – near Mazama Village. 

  • Steel Visitor Center and Park Headquarters.  


Last updated: April 4, 2022

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Mailing Address:

Crater Lake National Park
PO Box 7

Crater Lake, OR 97604


541 594-3000

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